Fossils To Museums

I was an 8 year old awash in fossils, so I was a tad more generous than this former 9 year old PEI lad with his much more valuable fossil. I donated a lower mandible piece from a ~12,000,000 year old Saskatchewan rhino to the Sask. Natural History (now Royal Sask.) Museum in the 1980s. I too used plastic bristle brushes (AKA tooth brushes) to dust off fossils I collected from the surface of a gravel pit near Wood Mountain, SK. Many more fossils and fossil fragments from that pit have since ended up in cement in the area.

1988 Aug 16 Natural History Museum

Wood Mountain is one of two locations in Saskatchewan which weren’t significantly affected by glaciers from the last two ice ages. This left glacially tilled soil, rock, and fossil bits in the gravel pits of the area. When I was a boy, I’d sometimes play on the gravel pile my parents had brought in to make cement for our garage floor. I noticed odd rocks, and one that looked like it had teeth, so I set it aside, beside the south wall of the house. A year or two later, we took the biggest fossil to the RSM for them to look at it. They identified it, provided me with a copy of the ROM’s scientific description of the extinct animal, and accepted the fossil into their collection.

aphelops rhinoceros saskatchewan donation

A few years later I found a larger fossil from an older rhino, and they assembled it for me.

Wood Mountain fossils


Dr. V. Shiva at the #UofR #EarthDemocracy

Dr. Shiva gave an interesting talk about how system we’ve built are being used to manipulate individuals in societies all around the world into valuing money over life.

Scottish Fish Invented Sex

Microbrachius dicki was the fish that realized it could use sex to reproduce. Feeling unsatisfied, fish eventually returned to spawning instead.

Solar Tour 2014

Cowessess Wind Developments Ltd. turbine.
800kW at 32mi/h
tailless, computer controlled.
Has Li-ion batteries.
Solar Tour Regina

Solar Tour Regina
Solar farm and home system of 10kW
Inverter anti-islanding. Prevents electrifying the grid while grid is down.
Isolation ring for the meter can be installed so you can attach a generator to the house to let the inverter keep working during a grid failure.

A Canadian report of a 2008 study of cities over 200,000 people around the world, listed Regina as sixth best in the world for solar energy generation potential.

Kelln has a system for pumping cattle water, that motion detects cattle, pumps up water to a bowl, and then lowers it below the frost line after the cattle have left.

Solar panels have passed the $1/Watt holy grail.
$500/Watt at the beginning.

250W panels on Toronto St. install.
Pool inside.

Solar Tour Regina
Namerind put a system on a rest home. The Resting Place south of The Serbian Club.
Namerind has a power generation update on their website.
Check out 1100 block Winnipeg in a few weeks.

Battery Depot which we drove by, has no apparent interest in marketing their products to solar users. Why aren’t they making money by putting solar panels on their south facing roof?

Tour’s poster designed by anti-nuke artist Richard Vicarious [sp?].

Picked up a few more people at Candy Cane park, then at Mac the Moose in Moose Jaw.

Mitchell’s thermal hot air system. Pop can design.
Solar Tour Moose Jaw

2.7kW grid tied system next on the south west corner of Moose Jaw. There are two arrays mounted on the ground, and their angles can be changed.

Next was a hybrid system to heat a stable. GAIT equestrian centre.
$1500 for the excavation of a geothermal cooling/heating system seen in photo.

Radiant heat presentation.

Saw a real moose behind Mac the Moose.

5.7kW building integrated solar on a car port in Belle Plaine.

More detail and photos to come soon.

Grasslands National Park Animals

Wood Mountain
-Road Killed Rattle Snake

There are not a lot of rattlesnakes around the park, especially the East Block of the park where Wood Mountain is. Nick, who is with Brenda showing off the snake skin, almost stepped on one by accident last week and it didn’t even try to bite him.

The snakes are mostly interested in these guys
Wood Mountain

Watch these videos, as the numbers get bigger at the end of the titles.

Deer at a gravel pit. Fossils in this pit go back to at least 13 Million years ago, and contain horse, rhino, and other animals from ancient Saskatchewan well before ice ages scraped much of the province flat like it is around Regina.

Species Worth Saving

The Prairie Dog Blog linked to an excellent article in The Stranger last year. It lays out humanity’s future, based on the status quo.

[W]hether you can pin it precisely on global warming or not, the ocean of wilting grain that fills the middle of our country after this hottest of summers is just a dress rehearsal. Sure, this summer was a freak of probability, more to do with the randomness of weather than the slow processes that are heating up the only world we can inhabit, but still, it was a chance to see how we might adapt to what will slowly become the norm as the planet heats. And how did we do? We failed. For now, we’ll pay more for food and eat our stored grain. In not too many more decades, we’ll starve.

This was the vision in my head as I rode my bike home. What are now the richest farmlands will become endless dust bowls. Increasingly desperate, hungry, and thirsty, we tear ourselves apart. Humanity dies. Much of the complex life that makes our world interesting and beautiful dies. It’s a hideous, vapid, lonely, and entirely predictable existence.

There’s a problem preventing us from fixing the problem of Climate Change: “the dimwitted, frightened, angry, corrupt and complicit villainy of the sort of fools and tools who insist there’s nothing wrong when evidence clearly contradicts that.”

The “fools and tools” didn’t all arrive at the wrong conclusions by the same means. Some, most I would argue, were boiled like frogs. They were slowly fed misinformation over decades, leading them to confirm one lie with another convenient one to arrive in the nick of time, just as the earlier lie became unbelievable. Yet they are in large part the hindrance humanity faces to get to work with the business of saving the world from humanity. People are the problem, and are also part of the solution. If we are not part of the solution, well, that’s a bleak future for billions of us, but I’d rather we collectively learn to live within the means of the Earth to provide for us than to wait for mass extinctions to knock us down to size.

Should we attempt to save 1/8th of all bird species that are likely to die off in our lifetimes if we do not change our collective actions? Of course! Can we manage to? Not if we let naysayers and the plain ignorant guide our political systems.
It’s okay, we don’t have to be concerned. Some guy on the Internet named Roberto told us there’s no real problem.